Administration seeks to take school to next level

Strategic plan addresses long-term goals


Grace Krowalevsky

During a presser with the newspaper staff, President Dr. Robert Bridges provides an overview of the plan to “keep working to stay ahead of the pack,” he said.

Jameson Browne, Reporter

In the coming five years, changes will be made in how students are taught at this school so that we can sincerely and honestly call ourselves the “Catholic High School of the Future.” 

President Mr. Robert Bridges, explained that the school is in its third year of a five-year strategic imrovement plan. He said that there are plans in order to improve all aspects of the school to meet the vision statement. 

Bridges said, “The big goal is to transform our school a little bit at a time so that in five years we can call ourselves the Catholic School of the future.”

What we say vs. what we do

In the fall, an accreditation team visited the school to see if “what we say we do is what we really do,” according to Vice Principal of Academics Mr. Dennis Thomas. The team consisted of 16 members who spent a few days at the school finding what we do well and what we can work to improve.

Thomas said he enjoyed the process because he knew how much could be learned from the team’s visit. “The work that we did will help us become a better school and prepare for the future. What we say we are doing has to be what we are doing and be aligned with our mission and goal,” Thomas said. 

Bridges noted that the team said the school community was “welcoming, inclusive and diverse” and that this sentiment was obvious during the team’s visit.

 But the school was challenged to meet the vision statement stating that Cathedral is, indeed, the Catholic school of the future. Bridges noted that during the two most recent accreditation visits, each of which took place seven years apart, the team made similar observations but then noted that the school, in many respects, remained tradition. 

Learning and teaching styles will be changed to meet the needs of students and keep them engaged. “We have to change what’s going on in the inside first,” Bridges said. 

The new Innovation Center will be a place for students to gather and advance their studies. Bridges said that the glass building will have a dining center and a cafe as well as new classrooms, which will open up opportunities to take new classes.

Another change will involve teachers as they will have chances to team up and teach classes together. Instead of 12 different department chairs, there will be four directors: arts and humanities, STEM, Holy Cross integration and a Freshman Academy. “It’s not just going to be the new building here. It’s going to be what’s happening on the inside,” Bridges said. 

Bridges did note that the Freshman Academy would not be a separate facility, but would involve a coordinated process that would ensure that the school was meeting the academic and social needs of the freshmen across the entire curriculum. He said that given the number of different schools from which ninth-graders enroll, this was especially important. 

Even with all this change coming, Bridges knows that the 101-year-old school has to maintain its traditions and its roots. “We have to keep the basics solid and together,” Bridges said.” 

In order to keep students more engaged, teachers will attempt to relate to them more often. “We have to keep our eye on what’s going on but we can’t keep following it around,” Bridges said. 

Most schools are trying to catch us

Though the school is always trying to improve, Bridges feels that Cathedral is leading the way. “Most schools are trying to catch Cathedral. We have to keep working to stay ahead of the pack,” Bridges said. 

Bridges acknowledged that some things at the school have to stay the same. “We talked about going into the future, but we love the traditions,” he said. “We have to let some things go in order to make room for the new.” 

Growing in both faith and education is a necessity for students. Bridges knows that we can’t change the Catholic teachings but we can change how we react to them. “To the teachings of the church, that’s how we change. It can affect us all differently,” he said. Everyone experiences mass in our own ways as we grow in our faith. 

The school will continue to help students grow in both faith and education in order to be the Catholic High School of the Future.